British Library uses new technique to uncover passages of Camden’s Annals, the first official account of Elizabeth’s reign

It was the first official account of Elizabeth I’s reign, one of the most valuable sources on early modern Britain, commissioned by her successor, King James I. But, for 400 years, no one has been able to read passages on hundreds of pages of this manuscript because they had been so heavily revised and self-censored by their 17th-century author, apparently to avoid punishment for offending his patron.

Now state-of-the-art imaging technology has enabled the British Library to read hidden pages of William Camden’s Annals for the first time, “a significant finding in early modern historical scholarship”.

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